The Spicers' Play: The Annunciation and Visitation

Doctor 1
Lord God, great marvel is to tell1
How man was made withouten miss,
And set where he should ever dwell
Withouten bale, abiding in bliss;
And how he lost that comfort clean
And was put out from paradise,
And since what sorrows sore were seen,7
Sent unto him and to all his;
And how they lay for a long space
In hell, locked from light,
Till God granted them grace
Of help, as he had promised.
Doctor 2
Then is it needful for to narrate13
How prophets all God’s counsels kenned,
And said thus: God the father in heaven
His son he said that he should send
To take shape of mankind,
In a maiden full mild;
So was many saved of sin19
And the foul fiend beguiled.
Doctor 1
The prophet Joel, a gentle Jew,21
Sometime has said of the same thing,
He likens Christ even as he knew
Like to the dew in down-coming:
Doctor 2


Ero quasi ros; et virgo Israel germinabit sicut lilium.
Doctor 1
This maiden of Israel all new,26
He says, shall bear a child.
This lady is to the lily like -
That is because of her clean life,
For in this world was never her like:
One to be maiden, mother, and wife.
And her son, king in heaven above.32
Thus of Christ’s coming may we see
How saint Luke speaks in his gospel:
From God in heaven is sent, says he,
An angel named Gabriel,

[Gabriel appears

To Nazareth in Galilee,
Where then a maiden mild did dwell,38
That with Joseph should wedded be;
Her name is Mary - thus did he tell.
Doctor 2
What God his grace then granted41
To man in this manner,
And how the angel said,
Take heed, all that will hear.
Hail Mary, full of grace and bliss,45
Our lord God is with thee
And has chosen thee for his.
Of all women blest most thou be.
What manner of hailing is this49
Thus privily comes to me?
For to mine heart a wonder it is,
The tokening that I here see.
Dread thee nought, thou mild Mary,53
For nothing that may befall,
For thou has found sovereignly
From God a grace surpassing all.
In chastity of thy body
Conceive and bear a child thou shall;
These tidings I bring thee, soothly.59
His name Jesu shall thou call.
Mickle of might then shall he be,
He shall be God and called God’s son.
The throne of David, his father free,
Shall God him give to sit upon;
As king for ever reign shall he,65
In Jacob’s house aye for to dwell,
Of his kingdom and dignity
Shall no man earthly know nor tell.
Thou God’s angel meek and mild,69
How should it be, I thee pray,
That I should conceive a child
Of any man by night or day?
I know no man that has defiled
My maidenhead, the sooth to say;
Withouten will of works wild75
In chastity I have lived aye.
The holy ghost in thee shall light,77
High virtue shall to thee hold,
The holy birth of thee so bright
God’s son he shall be called.
Lo, Elizabeth thy cousin, who might
Never conceive a child, she being old;
Yet now is in her sixth month full right,83
Yea, she that barren has been told.
Thou angel, blessed messenger,85
Of God’s will I hold me paid;
I love my lord with heart clear,
The grace that he has for me laid.
God’s handmaiden, lo I am here
To his will all ready arrayed;
Be done to me in all manner91
Through thy word as thou hast said.

[She meets and greets Elizabeth

Now God that all our hope is in,93
Through the might of the holy ghost,
Elizabeth mine own cousin,
Methought I inclined always most
To speak with thee of all my kin,
Therefore I come thus in this haste.
Ah, welcome mild Mary,99
Mine own cousin so dear,
Joyful woman am I
That I now see thee here.
Blessèd be thou chiefly
Of all women without peer,
And the fruit of thy body105
Be blessèd far and near.
This is joyful tiding
That I may now here see,
The mother of my lord king
In this way come to me.
As soon as I heard thy voice calling111
My heart rose up within me,
The child in my womb so young
Makes great mirth unto thee.
Now Lord, blest be thou aye115
For the grace thou has me lent;
Lord, I love thee God, alway;
For what hast me sent
I thank thee night and day,
And pray with good intent
Thou take me in thy pay.121
To thee my will is bent.
Blessèd be thou worthily proclaimed123
To God for chastity,
Thou trowed, and thought thee paid
At his will for to be.
All that to thee is said
From my lord so free,
That grace that is foretold129
Shall be fulfilled in thee.
To his grace I will me take,131
In chastity to dwell,
That made me for his sake
Most happy among maidens.
My soul shall praising make
Unto that lord so true,
And my spirit make joy alway137
In God that is my Saviour.

2021 Aug 11  11:35:20